"Rivers had often been touched by the way in which young men...spoke about feeling like fathers to their men. Though when you looked at what they did. Worrying about socks, boots, blisters, food, hot drinks. And that perpetually harried expression of their. Rivers had only ever seen that look in one other place: in the public ward of hospitals, on the faces of women who were bringing up large families on very low incomes...it was the look of people who are totally responsible for lives they have no power to save.
One of the paradoxes of war - one of the many- was that this most brutal of conflicts should set up a relationship between officers and men that was...domestic. Caring."
From Regeneration by Pat Barker.
Quite a long one today, but I didn't have the heart to cut it down any more. Here Rivers, an army psychologist treating patients at Craiglockhart hospital during WW1 , reflects on the odd similarities between officers in WW1 and mothers at home, and the domesticity the static nature of warfare created for the men.
I urge you to read this novel; it examines so many paradoxical aspects of the war as well as questioning the relationship between doctors and patients.